Gold: Yun Sung-Bin (South Korea)
Silver: Nikita Tregubov (Olympic Athlete from Russia)
Bronze: Dom Parsons (Great Britain)
Before the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, athletes from only nine different countries had won medals in skeleton. The athletes came from Winter Olympics mainstays like the United States, Austria, Canada, Germany and Switzerland — but Sun Yung-Bin of South Korea emphatically changed that on Friday in South Korea.
He put forth a dominant performance in the men’s skeleton to win not only his country’s first medal in skeleton, but its first gold. In front of a roaring hometown crowd, Sun, 23, won by a whopping 1.63 seconds over Nikita Treguov, an Olympic Athlete from Russia). Dom Parsons of Great Britain won bronze.
Americans Matt Antoine and John Daly finished 11th and 16th, respectively. The Americans were out of medal contention after the first two runs, and did not climb in the rankings over the final two runs.
While the PyeongChang course has wreaked havoc on many a luger and skeleton racer through the Winter Games, Yun easily sliced through the course he knows so well. He led by 0.74 seconds after the first two runs, setting course records on both runs. He told reporters he had even more left in the tank for Runs 3 and 4, and he didn’t disappoint. While he didn’t break the course record on his third run, he extended his lead to over one second, essentially cementing the gold medal.
The fourth run was a victory lap of sorts, and Yun delivered once again with another flawless run to become a national hero. He set his third course record of the competition. In the end, Yun had the four fastest runs of the competition, a shocking feat.
Yun’s performance was one for the ages. It wasn’t that his competitors faltered, it was that Yun was so good. He didn’t look like an athlete bringing his country its first medal, he looked like a legend of the sport. And on Friday in PyeongChang in front of his country, he was.